Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gardening Mania & a Broken Arm

The last two weeks have been crazy bus around here! There has been endless watering, transplanting, seeding, plowing, pruning and staking. It takes every waking hour right now and some hours that should be devoted to sleep just to keep up! Everything is growing wonderfully and this week we have even gotten some vegetables planted in the ground! The corn we planted two weeks ago is growing fast. It is protected by clear plastic, so last week's winds didn't affect it and this week's sunshine if making it grow. Yesterday we planted some zucchini and put some hoops over it and plastic so it is in a protective tunnel. The tunnel was a good thing because we had a wicked wind and rain storm last night that would have destroyed the zucchini. Planting it this early is definitely a gamble anyway, but I am really anxious for zucchini and the truth is I planted the seeds too early and the plants had to be put in the ground or just thrown out.

Sunday as I was watering the hanging baskets, I tripped and fell and caught myself with my right hand. As luck would have it, I broke my arm. Fortunately it is not a bad break and the Dr. let me use a removable brace instead of a cast. It is annoying, but it could be a lot worse so I'm not complaining.

The hanging baskets are taking over the greenhouse! They are spectacular this year and I am so proud because we started all of the flowers ourselves. It was nice not to have to buy any starts or plugs from out of state because we avoid importing any pesky pests to have to fight! It is great to have a totally pest free greenhouse!

We are having our annual plant sale this Friday and Saturday. Like I said, the hanging baskets are beautiful and we have great bedding plants and veggie starts. Arthur Keyes of Glacier Valley Farm is going to take some of our baskets in to the new Spenard Market in Anchorage, so look for them there.

Well, the sun is shining and the garden is calling. It is time to stop writing and get farming!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Want to Go Behind the Scenes at the Market?

Well, now you (virtually) can.

One of our good friends, Rayne Reynolds spent a day with us last summer at the Anchorage Wednesday Market.  He followed us around with his camera like paparazzi and took all these pictures of us.  We thought you might enjoy the behind the scenes virtual tour.

Pushing the Season

Wow! The last few days have been so lovely I have had to literally stop myself from planting! When it is so sunny and feels so warm, I want to put everything outside and in the ground. Fortunately my mother, with her fifty years of experience of Alaska gardening, is able pull up old planting journals where time after time there will be killing frosts the middle of May. If the frost doesn't kill the Cole plants, it causes them to bolt. Actually, temperatures below 40 will cause broccoli and cauliflower to bolt, that is produce tiny heads. This reminder cools my planting fever and I will hold off planting the broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, zucchini and chard for at least two more weeks.

There is still plenty for me to plant. I am planting garlic and onions, a true plethora (love that word) of them. Also I am going to plant peas(already up and growing in their sixpacks in the cold frames.) I planted some turnips and beets in 250 count seed trays and I hope to get them in the garden in the next few days. Normally I direct seed turnips and beets right in the garden, but I am hoping to get them a bit earlier this year. I tried it last year and we harvested turnips three weeks earlier than normal.

Tomorrow we will plant the corn. That is always an exciting day. It can't take the cool weather either, but we give it extra protection and cross our fingers alot!

Since I took the mulch off of the flower beds last week the perennials are jumping. The peonies and bleeding hearts always survive as well as the delphiniums. This year the companula has really spread. Three years ago I put in some philipendula and thalictrum, both are thriving! A big surprise is that the sea holly and the clematis that I planted last year are coming back. They are both zone 3/4 and I didn't expect that they would make it. Lilies are popping up everywhere (I think I should divide them this season). I still see no signs of the astillbe or the goats beard, but it is still early. One perennial we can always count on is rhubarb and I am happy to report that we will have rhubarb in time to make pie for Mother's Day--this Sunday! Isn't Spring just the best!